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Thanks, @Tom, @Len, @Kayne and @Matt! 

Business Processor

@Tom - some of our biggest challenges have been very similar to what Kayne has described. He's definitely correct when he says people will SAY they are open to change...but when the rubber hits the road, you really have to be able to identify who is a good fit for this kind of structure.

Business Processor

Thanks again to Len, Kayne and Matt for joining us in the chat -- and for a great radio show. Thanks to everyone else for making this an exciting hour!

Blogger

Thanks again Tom, Kayne and Len ....very informative Chat !

Agile Expert

Thanks for mentioning IMPACT, Kayne. I'll be there. For anyone who DOESN'T know, please check out the Impact2012 banner to your right for more informaiton on IBM's big show on IT leadership

Blogger

Thanks everyone...we are signing out.  I some visuals of our Agile framework and Agile eco-system out on my blog www.illustratedagile.com if you are interested!

Business Processor

@kayne, do you have a data science team? Any individuals identified as data scientists on staff?

Blogger

Thanks everyone for tuning in and asking great questions. I hope to see you at IMPACT or maybe another conference/session in the near future!

Business Processor

@Matt, Thanks for your input. Glad you could join us! I'm wondering what issues you're facing at Apartments, and what you think you can borrow from the success at Cars?

Blogger

Yes, I should echo Matt's statements below and say that although we don't share resources/technology, we do have the opportunity to share best practices and it's great having Apartments.com 10 floors above us and talking on a frequent basis. They have done a great job in creating the number one marketplace for apartment rental.

 

Business Processor

howdy @mattstratton!

Business Processor

You mentioned you're evaluating some big data tools....are you looking at data from the web operations, from social media, from both? Others? What is your goal in studying that from the IT end?

Blogger

@matt, thanks for coming and thanks for news of the (good kind of) contagion!

Blogger

@Tom As the Tech Ops manager for Apartments.com, I can echo a bit of Kayne's point. Apartments has also recently undergone an Agile transformation, driven in part by the success that Cars has exhibited, and we've also learned a lot from their success, which made our transformation smoother for sure.!

Business Processor

@kayne, thanks, didn't know about SFDC. Will have a look.

Blogger

@Jim- No. we have not moved to a full pay for peformance model. this is something that I am very passionate about and aligning employee goals and results to pay, bonus, etc.

Business Processor

@Tom - Apartments.com & Homefinder operate independently of Cars. We do not share platforms or people. We do however utilize back office services from Classified Ventures.

Business Processor

@Tom - Our product owners are responsible for the component of our Framework called "Discovery" - While in Discovery, they are constantly reaching out to the customer through NPS surveys, A/B testing, feedback from operations, etc. to determine what our customer needs are and developing features to put on their product roadmap.

Business Processor

Have you changed the way you handle staff compensation/incentives under the new structure?

Business Processor

@kdawson - yes, we use Connections, however many of our employees have adopted SFDC Chatter. It appears to be much more effective for real time communication, especially our sales force in the field.

Business Processor

@Kayne, Len: You mentioned that Cars.com has a couple of counsins that were also started by the newspaper groups....do you share your technology with them? Or are they completely independent companies?

Blogger

@JohnV - ABSOLUTLEY. It's all about value and this has been a great change from the days in which Technology prioritized requests or was the gate keeper for work. Today, the product teams manage incoming work, whether it's a bug, enhancement, or feature. They are fully empowered to do what's right for their product.

 

Business Processor

@Terry - we have seen a huge life in automotive media, mainly because digital media is here to stay and traditional media, within certain channels, is becoming a thing of the past. With our credibility in the marketplace and tools for consumers, dealers, and advertisers, I see Cars.come being in a great place for the years to come.

 

Business Processor

@Len: As you know, "social business" is a lot more than just including workers in the planning process. Are you taking this open development process to the customers yet?  How do you include customer input into your planning process?

Blogger

@Terry: Hello! 

Business Processor

@Terry   Great question !

Agile Expert

Do you feel the need to act and think like a service provider within your organization, paying attention to service and marketing and product definition, etc.?

Blogger

@Tom - yes, we review the teams on a daily basis and base progress on value to their products and how they are peforming against pre-determined KPI's. We also have oversight teams and management spends much more time looking at inner dynamics of teams versus push through of work.

 

Business Processor

Kayne & Len: How would you assess the impact of the recession and tightening of the credit market on your business and your recent IT initiatives? 

Blogger

@kaynegrau   That is awesome, and surly shows that you have changed your culture which is vital to increased agility - congrats !

Agile Expert

What's the infrastructure for real-time (social) communications? Do you have an IBM Connections-like solution, or a wiki, or what?

Blogger

With regards to losing people, yes, we did lose some people. Some people that had previous roles did not want to operate in the new world. I saw much of this tied to "Lead" roles and where there was part-time management and part-time development/testing. These people were being asked to stop managing and move to 100% hands on role with more mentoring and less actual management. 

 

Business Processor

@Kayne. The phrase "self-governed teams" must send chills through some CIOs.  How do you keep those self-governed teams on track?  Or do you?  At the end of the day, are they responsible or are you if a project fails to come in as planned?

Blogger

@ kaynegrau  Do you leverage virtual servers ?

Agile Expert

@Tom For me the darkest time was the first day with the Agile Core Team (our Transformation Team) - I remember telling our Agile coach that this was never going to work. Be we stuck it out and over time began to model the behaviors, language, and relationships we were trying to create within our move to Agile.

Business Processor

Yes, very positive to the bottom line, morale. In our 2010 employee survey, Technology ranked near the bottom on overall employee engagagement. We had another one completed in Nov of last year and Technology now ranks number one behind our sales organization. I attribute much of our success to agile and product realignment.

 

Business Processor

@lagestee   Intersting.  Thank you !

Agile Expert

@kdawson - No cloud as of today and yes, everything is in house. Evaluating various cloud solutions for multiple uses.

Business Processor

@kayne and Len:  So has this move to increased agility been seen (postively) in the bottom line ?   Improved image ..etc ?

Agile Expert

If I were to do this all over again, I would have gotten much further ahead on our communication strategy to the larger organization. We were lagging here and many people asking questions or jumping to conclusions and I think we could have been more transparent in some of our changes and our objective/strategy for the short/long term.

 

Business Processor

@agile Building Trust within the Company ?  How was that pulled off ?  A.  We are still working on making sure trust and respect are prevalent everyday and things still pop up where we need to remind folks of our core values.  The Agile framework is built on trust and respect so it's easy to spot when a lack of trust begins to be an issue.

Business Processor

@Tom - darkest moment was probably the beginning and me buying into "self goverened" teams. Much of our IT management (deliveyr anyway) was tied to pushing projects through the funnel. That all changes with this new approach and the early stages made this very difficult to work through, specifically with Delivery Managers and Tech ops.

Business Processor

Is all your data kept & processed in-house? No significant use of cloud resources?

Blogger

@Kaynegrau I like that perspective - it also means the first successful results from a change are essential to manage fears.  I like that your team was willing to share the grey clouds along wih the blue sky! :-)

Blogger

@ Kayne, Len: I'm also wondering what you would do differently if you were to do it again? Would either/both of you like to take a shot at that?

Blogger

Did you lose any staff *because of* the transformation?

Blogger

Yes-- data mining done in the traditional context, however we are hopeful that data appliance and add on tools will assist with achieving our long term data strategy.

 

Business Processor

@Len, Kayne: What would you say as your darkest moment during this change over?  Was there a time when you weren't sure it was going to work?

Blogger

@bhaiines6 Q How did you manage the cutover from Waterfall to Agile without interrupting the releases A. Hopefully we answered this during the call but ultimately we experimented and learned from pilot projects, make sure there was enough buzz and energy around moving to Agile, and then ripped the band-aid off.  

Business Processor

Yes Thank you Tom,  Kayne and Len - this was loaded with good insight and information. 

Agile Expert

Please remember, as I think we sometimes give the "honeymoon" view of our story, this doesn't happy overnight and took a lot of work and being people being open minded to change. A lot of our people say they are open to "change", however when faced with the actual ramifications to their job, title, etc, it's not always so easy. This has been a large part of my job the last year.

 

Business Processor

Thanks Cassimir, but I had great guests!  Social business is really a hot topic here at BA, and these two gentlemen have been up and down that stream

Blogger

@kaynegrau  So all data mining is done in the traditional sense at this present day ?

Agile Expert

Hi Tom. Excellent questions.

@Tom: Hello.Thanks for the presentation and for hosting. 

Business Processor

Hey Tom! Thanks for the insightful interview.

Agile Expert

@Pierre, vrs400  I agree. An outside perspective can be of a great help.

Agile Expert

@kdawson -- we are currently in evaluating various data appliances (IBM, Teradata, and Oracle) Decision to be made within a week. We are then looking at Hadoop related tools to learn more about our data and drive more decisions and personalization. Hopefully this answered your question.

 

Business Processor

Hey Tom, great show.

Blogger

I'm glad to see so many guests in the chat room. Thanks for coming. Kayne and Len should be with us in a moment.

Blogger

Len or Kayne, here's a Q from earlier: What are you using to deal with the massive volume of data on the backend? Open Source? Hadoop?

Blogger

This was a very interesting and candid program. Thanks!

 

Virtual Whiz

An unbiased third party. Great point. Sometimes taking it on internally does lead to biases and the "not seeing the forest from the trees" scenarios.

Agile Expert

I like ths suggestion about having a 3rd party to guide the agility effort

Blogger

@Keith  I agree, it is really nice to hear a real world account of how difficult it is to achieve a change in culture.

Agile Expert

Len, thanks so much for doing this!

Blogger

hey everyone - thanks for joining - we'll be around to answer your question!

Business Processor

These guys have been there. Great to have access to their experience.

Blogger
Thanks for high value call.
Business Processor

Welcome @bhaines, thanks for the Q.

Blogger

How did you manage the cutover from Waterfall to Agile without interrupting the releases?

Business Processor

wow, 30 releases / yr. to 120.

Blogger

@Keith: hello! :) 

Business Processor

@kdawson, interesting!

Agile Expert

@vrs400   Good to know - Thanks !

Agile Expert

@vrs400: Good, thanks. :) You? sort of I saw where you were a min ago I remember the email ...

Business Processor

@kdawson, if you're interested; http://www.mathopd.org/ (Mathopd webserver for *BSD)

Agile Expert

@vrs, nginix is now the #2 server worldwide. Just passed IIS. Closing in on Apache. Maybe another year or so.

Blogger

@Susan!  How are you!? :)

Agile Expert

@Agile, we did. And never looked back :)

Agile Expert

@kdawson, I have but haven't tried it out. I'll look into it, thanks!

Agile Expert

@vrs400   So true vrs400, so true ....did you move to that ? 

Agile Expert

@vrs, interesting. Have you looked at nginix?

Blogger

Running Apache has been problematic, at one point I just put my hands up and said "let's use FreeBSD with Mathopd webserver". :-) No offense to Linux but it isn't as agile as one would always like.

Agile Expert

@vrs   Oh yes, that one is always fun !

Agile Expert

@vrs, yes, not a phone call you ever want to get.

Blogger

RE: the boss knowing the site is down. I absolutely can relate to that. I've been there.

Agile Expert

re: improving Agility    Building Trust within the Company ?  How was that pulled off ?

Agile Expert

Management structure ?  How is theirs formed ?   top/down ?  Vertical ?  How long does it take to get initatives actually going ?

Agile Expert

are there programmatic ways to indentify people who aren't a good fit?

Blogger

What  are they using to deal with the massive volume of data on the backend?  Open Source ?  Hadoop ?

Agile Expert

Ditto. Hearing their story. It's fascinating.

Agile Expert

Hi Keith....still letting the topic sink in  : ) 

Agile Expert

Hi Agile. Any questions in advance?

Blogger

Hello Everyone !

Agile Expert

Hello Cassimir & vrs.

Blogger

Greetings; Cassimir, Keith Dawson, David Coursey!

Agile Expert

I look forward to this!

Agile Expert


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